|Great Korean Empire|
"Let the land be enlightened"
"Patriotic Song of the Great Korean Empire"
Location of Korea in East Asia
(and largest city)
|Religion||Buddhism, Christianity, Sinhism|
|Government||Unitary constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Mun Jae-Yin|
|-||Empire proclaimed||13 October 1897|
|-||Total|| 219,155 km2
84,616 sq mi
With a population of over 76 million inhabitants, Korea is the 10th-most populous country in Asia and the 21st in the world. Its surface area of 219,155 square kilometers makes Asia's 18th- and the world's 73rd-largest country.
The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time (from 37 BC to 668 AD), ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia under Gwanggaeto the Great. Its capital, Seoul, is a major global city and a third of Korea's over 76 million people live in the Seoul Capital Area, one of the largest metropolitan economies in the world. Other important cities include Busan, Incheon, Pyongyang and Daegu.
The country is one of the most advanced democracies with the highest level of press freedom in Asia. Korea is a highly developed country and the world's 15th-largest economy by nominal GDP. Its citizens enjoy the world's fastest Internet connection speeds along with an excellent healthcare system, resulting in the third highest health adjusted life expectancy in the world.
The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BC. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea into Silla and Balhae in the late 7th century, Korea was ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897).
The modern Korean Empire was founded in October 1897 by Emperor Gojong of the Joseon dynasty, after China won the Sino-Japanese War (1894–97) disputed with Japan over influence in Korea. The Chinese victory prevented Japanese annexation of Korea, after which Emperor Gojong oversaw the Gwangmu Reform, a partial modernization and Westernization of the military, economy, land system, and education system, and of various industries.